Where We Once Belonged

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Overview

Figiel uses the traditional Samoan storytelling form of su'ifefiloi to talk back to Western anthropological studies on Samoan women and culture. In doing so, she weaves an honest - and sometimes brutal - coming-of-age story that combines poetry with an unflinching humor to describe the abiguities of adolescent desire. Told in a series of linked episodes that recall the work of V.S. Naipaul and Sandra Cisneros, this powerful and highly original narrative follows thirteen-year-old Alofa Filiga as she navigates the ...
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Overview

Figiel uses the traditional Samoan storytelling form of su'ifefiloi to talk back to Western anthropological studies on Samoan women and culture. In doing so, she weaves an honest - and sometimes brutal - coming-of-age story that combines poetry with an unflinching humor to describe the abiguities of adolescent desire. Told in a series of linked episodes that recall the work of V.S. Naipaul and Sandra Cisneros, this powerful and highly original narrative follows thirteen-year-old Alofa Filiga as she navigates the mores and restrictions of her village, Malaefou, and comes to terms with her own womanhood and search for identity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780908597277
  • Publisher: Pasifika Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Pages: 236

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    On a visit back in 2001 to Tutuila, I visited a bookstore to see if I could find a new friend to keep me company while I visited my ailing father. Books were my friends and helped me escape some of the similar experiences the main character in 'Where I once belonged' went through. What happened next sort of felt like an out of body experience. Sia Figuel and I share the same first name. We are the same age and while she was growing up in Western Samoa, I was doing so in Tutuila. Sia and I met over some drinks and bonded like long lost friends. Where we once belonged introduces a generational epiphany through Alofa's eyes and heart that ironicaly strikes a cord for so many samoan women. Its nice to have a voice a Samoan woman's voice in the literary world. Sia Figuel does us proud and is a credit to her people. Perhaps there might a future version where the Samoan is translated into English for the English reading audience. We'll see...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2001

    Miss Samoa, land of Australia

    First time I ever read this book, I was really into it until all my Samoan friends wanted to know what I was talking about and of course the book went around the circle. The things that happen in Alofa and her girlfriends life makes us realise how we are still dealing with the traditional ways with parents, getting into trouble, boys, school and church. Since my friends and I are Samoans we understand what Sia Figuel has overcome in this pure Samoan story!!!! Choice!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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